Mum, I’m Stuck on the Grass

I didn’t watch the Ben Cousins Drug Story.  It is too close to home.  Four months ago our family was in turmoil.  My youngest was a drug addict.  He was a pot head.  He was just 16. I’m sure you are wondering how could this happen?  Me too.  In a way I watched it happen in front of my eyes.  I didn’t know how to stop it.

At times I pretended it wasn’t happening.  It was hell.  For 18 months I was in a constant state of worry.  He would sneak out after we went to bed.  He would go out after dinner and not come back for a few hours.  Sometimes he just didn’t come home.   For eighteen months I never went to bed feeling relaxed.  There was always a nagging worry about what I might wake up to.

Why didn’t I stop him?  How did it get to this?  He was 14, 15, 16 – I should have known where he was, what he was doing.  I ask myself these  same questions over and over.   Even now that things are different I still try and work out where I went wrong.  Why didn’t I have the power to stop this?  I am slowly coming the the conclusion that it had to happen this way. Sometimes bad things have to happen to make the good things more precious.

I watched my son fade away to become someone I didn’t know.  Someone I was scared for. Someone I desperately wanted back.

He watched me slowly fall apart. He watched me spiral into a place I never wanted to go back to.   We fought.  We cried.  We talked.  We loved.  Through it all we always loved.  I was always there for him.  That’s what a mother does.  That’s what a mother has to do.

One day early in May I really truly fell apart.  It was all too much.  In a moment of anger I told him I just wanted to die.  I told him this was all too hard and I wanted to smash my head on the driveway until I was dead.  I also told him he was the reason I felt this way.   It is still hard to think about that day.   I’ve never seen my son more hurt than on that day.

I can’t really remember too much over the next few weeks, I was in a melt down to a nervous breakdown.  A place I didn’t want to go.  I increased my anxiety medication and managed to keep off the edge.  I was just functioning.  I know we were looking at pulling him out of school because there was no point.  School was becoming a vicious circle which, in a way, was pushing him into the life he had chosen.  I know we were talking about options.  I know I was fading.

Not long after this he came to me and said “Mum you are right, I have got a problem.  I am addicted to weed and I need to do something now.”  You have no idea how proud I was of him at that moment.  That was a huge admission.   We discussed options and he wanted to think about what he wanted to do.

A week or so later I was driving home from somewhere in the car with my boy.  I looked at him and said “You really have to do something.  This can’t go on.”  He looked at me and said “Mum, I know.  I feel like I am in between two roads – one is the road for school and the other is the road to work and doing something I want to do.  At the moment I’m stuck on the grass in the middle.   Hah! You won’t find this funny Mum, but do you get it?  I’m stuck on the grass.”    Funnily enough I did get the irony in that comment and I did find it funny. It was also deeply profound.  It was the moment I knew my boy was thinking about coming back.  It was also the moment that things began to turn around for us.

We enrolled him in the local Muay Thai gym to do a personal training course.  He was now the responsibility of a big tattooed ex World Champion Muay Thai fighter who we will call J (because that is the letter his name starts with).  He wanted to be there.  He was scared of J, really scared.  He wanted to be scared.  He wanted to be accountable to this scary man. He told me he needed this.  He wanted this.

He started to get fit.  He put on muscle.  The paleness of his skin disappeared.  He looked healthy again.  He started eating again.  He started talking to us again.  He came back.  He was loving again.  He called me mummy again.  He hugged and kissed me again.

He had been doing this for four weeks.  Starting at 9.00 am and working till 8.30 at night. Long hours that left him no time to meet the “people” he used to associate with.  This is how he wanted it to be.  Driving him home one night I asked him if he missed school.   His answer was “I miss certain things about school and I don’t miss others.  The things I miss the most are the things that are bad for me.  Wagging and going down to the creek to smoke bud.  I don’t miss the school work, the teachers and most of the people there.”  He then said, and this made my heart sing “What I don’t miss the most is the constant guilty feeling I used to have.  I used to feel guilty that I was wagging school because you would be disappointed.  I used to feel guilty for lying to you.  I used to feel guilty about smoking bud because I knew how much you would be upset by it.  I love not having that guilty feeling.  I don’t do anything now that I feel guilty about.”    It was at this moment that I knew my boy was truly a good person.  I was so proud of him.  I was overwhelmed with love for him.

It has now been three and a half months and I cannot describe how different I feel.  How different things are.  It is not until now that I realise how scared I was every night going to bed.  In the back of my mind I was convinced I would wake to find he was either gone or dead somewhere.  I am good at partitioning things off in my mind.  It allows me to cope day to day.  It does take its toll however.

I am still cautious.  I still know that if the things he loves now were taken from him, he would slide back to that world.   At the moment the exercise is giving him the “feel good” feeling he loves.  He told me when he was 12 that he had an addictive personality.  He was so right.  He is so wise.

I look back over the past two years trying to work out what I could have done differently to prevent this.  I always come to the same conclusion that I wouldn’t have done anything differently.   This was going to happen and it was how I handled the happening that would determine the outcome.

Two nights ago he asked me to lie on his bed with him before I went to bed.  He put his arms around my neck and said “I love you mummy”.  I told him I loved him too and that I’d really missed him.  He said “I really missed you too mum, I really did”.

I have my baby back.  I do not take this for granted.

Note:  There were so many awful things that happened over the last 2 years, but I really wanted this post to focus on the positives and the realisations my son came to about changing things.   He reads my blog and I want him to know how proud I am of him.

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About Annieb25

A mum to 2 teenage boys, would be writer, thirsty for knowledge, Radio Solution solver on Radio 1116 4BC and so much more!!
This entry was posted in Family, Healthy Living, My Boys, Parenting and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

94 Responses to Mum, I’m Stuck on the Grass

  1. Maxabella says:

    I’m proud of him too. It takes a very, very brave and strong person to do what he has done. What an amazing achievement. If he continues on this path, he will set himself up for a life of accomplishment and honour.

    Imagine being able to say “I don’t do anything now that I feel guilty about” at the age of sixteen. Remarkable. I feel that he will go on to mentor and help other teenagers who lose their way and he will be loved and appreciated every day by many more people than just his mum. He has his mum’s beautiful, strong soul.

    • Annieb25 says:

      I hope he continues on this path. He’s very self aware which will help. I don’t think we are “out of the woods” fully yet, but he on the way. xx

  2. a-m says:

    OMG, I have tears on my eyes. “I love you Mummy”, oh Annie you have been so brave.
    I am so happy that he is back and getting strong. You just want to hold them close forever don’t you. It’s hard. You are a great Mum. A-M xx

  3. BundyNelle says:

    Annie, I just want to thank you for posting this blog. I fully understand how hard it must have been for you to do this. If I could hug you I could :0) I don’t know if I could have coped as well as you if I was in your position. I’m mentally going around the bend with toilet training my three year old, heaven knows what I am in for in 10+years time!!! But thank you for posting your blog. Your experience has well and truly opened my naive eyes.

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thank you Janelle. It was really hard to write. I was scared to write it in case it all tumbled down and he went back to the way he was. We always manage to cope through this stuff, although the edge is often lurking! xx

  4. Girl Clumsy says:

    I’m so pleased this story ends positively. You both have lots of reasons to be proud of each other!

    All the best as you both continue to grow. 🙂

    • Annieb25 says:

      Definitely proud! And definitely room to grow – both of us. I’ve grown alongside my kids – they teach me and I teach them. I love that. Thank you xx

  5. Ash says:

    Wow oh wow. You are such an inspirational parent Annie. I have a son and am terrified about the big bad world and how it can touch our children so easily. Throughout the trouble times you write about you can see that there are still such good values that weren’t lost – or there wouldn’t have been any guilt. It must have been such a hard post to write, and I can see why you are so proud of your son. I would be too.

    • Annieb25 says:

      My biggest fear was always drugs. I used to say “oh well, at least they aren’t on drugs”. I didn’t think I’d cope with that fear, I did. When he told me he felt guilty I said “good”. He didn’t think I was being very nice. I explained to him how the fact he felt guilty meant he was a good person. He cared about the people who loved him and who he loved. It would be concerning if he didn’t have guilt. Thank you for your comment. xx

  6. croz says:

    You go girl. That was beautiful. It is amazing how it is the discipline and accountability, that brings these kids round. In society today that initial guidance sometimes gets overlooked, because of all the silly rules about raising children.

    Thank you for sharing that lovely story and the happy outcome. If your son needs any mentoring on his future I would love to help him. Check out my website to get an idea of where I come from.

    Blessings
    Abundance to All
    Croz

    • Annieb25 says:

      Raising kids is certainly hard. This wasn’t in the manual I was given – oh hang on I didn’t get a manual! I will check out your website. Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting. xx

  7. Amelia says:

    Annie you’ve brought a tear to my eye too. What a brave woman you are. Not only should you be proud of your son for turning his life around (and at such a young age), you should be so proud of yourself for not only having the courage to write this post, but for being such a loving and supportive mother. You sound like an amazing brave woman. I’m so happy to hear things are looking positive and I hope he is on a continued road to recovery. Thank you for sharing your story. xx

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thanks. I’m not sure I’m brave. I just went with my instincts. But I am very proud of him. So many kids “get stuck on the grass” and so many of them stay there. I’m so glad my boy got off the grass! xx

  8. I’ve often wondered if the families of addicts know their children are addicted to what ever they addicted to. And I had often wondered how thie families felt and what options were open to them. (My children are only 9 & 10, so I have all this in front of me.) You’ve answered these ponderings and I’m in awe of how you have coped and helped. What an amazing relationship you must have had with your son, before all of this happened, for him to have felt guilt, every time he was doing something he knew you wouldn’t have approved of. I hope the two roads have turned into one and are smooth for you both. Love and Prayers to you.

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thank you Fleur. I used to wonder those very same things. I used to wonder how on earth I’d cope if my kids got into drugs. The good news is, you just do. I knew what he was addicted to prior to him admitting it because I could smell it in his room. I used to find “equipment” in his wardrobe. The hardest thing was getting him to admit it. I’m sure the road will still have its bumps, but I’m sure, like now, love will get us through. xx

  9. island girl says:

    All of us have been touched in some way by this; while it’s so painful and soul-destroying watching someone you love disappear before your eyes, I can only imagine what it must be like for a mother to have to watch her child go through this. Both of you show incredible strength and courage, and it sounds like you have raised an amazing young man. xx

    • Annieb25 says:

      It was soul destroying watching my boy fade away. I was slowly dying alongside him. I’m so glad to have him back again. Thank you for reading my blog and thank you for your lovely comment xx

  10. disydoit says:

    As I well up – you are such an inspriring mother and I hope to have that sort of relationship with my son when he is a teenager. This is close to home too.

    • Annieb25 says:

      My fiance and I fight often. He says I’m too soft with my boys. I say I’m exactly how I should be. I wouldn’t trade the relationship I have with them for anything. I wouldn’t have this now had I not been me. I am soft in some areas, but I’m also not a doormat. Staying “in touch” with teenagers is the most important thing I believe a parent can do. Thank you for reading my blog and commenting. xx

      • disydoit says:

        having the relationship where they can tell you is so important. Being harder on them seems more likely to drive them away. I strive to have the relationship with my children as you have with your boys xx

  11. sass says:

    You are an amazing mummy with amazing kids!

    My best friends husband is addicted to Pot. It is now at the stage where she can’t be with him anymore so has separated from him.
    It’s a sad thing to witness a man chose pot over his family.

    You are such a strong woman Annie.

    xxoo

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thanks Sass. People say pot is a “friendly” drug. It isn’t. It totally changes personalities. It takes away all motivation. It turns energetic creative people into lazy, boring slobs. It must be very hard on your friend to leave her husband. But I totally understand how it tears people apart. I hope that now my son has experienced a life with drugs and a life without, he remembers how much better life is without. I hope and pray for that every day. xx

  12. Lucy says:

    Oh Annie.

    I am going to have to print this out and file it.

    I am from a family of addicts, and live in terror of this predisposition affecting my children, be it drugs, alcohol or food.

    Thank you SO much for sharing.

    How beautiful you are, as a Mummy, to be able to hold on through this, and how gorgeous a son to just have the inking of sense, to feel that flicker of a need to reach out and admit when he did.
    For all your sakes.

    Thank you Annie.

    (Now off to wipe away the tears and blow my nose.)

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thank you Lucy for such a lovely comment. I’m sure I have an addictive personality too, though I try really hard to curb it. My boy is the same. He says to me that when he thinks he’s getting addicted to something, like a gameboy game for example, he has to stop playing with it so he doesn’t become obsessed. I’m glad he’s so self aware. It will hopefully help him navigate his way through life. xx

  13. oh wow! a beautiful post Annie xx

  14. Jane says:

    Annie
    I hear your pain.
    I have seen it.
    However for me I can not personally relate
    my kids never smoke, drank, swore or anything.
    (They faced other Serious Challenges)
    yet I have seen families torn apart from what you relate,
    families that didn’t make.
    Grandmothers raising grandchildren
    heartbreak.
    tears
    guilt
    remorse
    loveless-ness.
    Love is the key.
    Well Done Annie & Son
    and family.

    • Annieb25 says:

      You are so right Jane. Drugs do tear families apart and I totally understand how that happens. I’m scared to think what would have happened to our family had my boy not made these changes. It was close, oh so close. xx

  15. Lorraine says:

    OMG Annie, I also have tears, you are a beautiful mother.

    I was talking to my own mother about this last night as she and my Dad have full custody of their great grand daughter who is now 14. Mum was telling me she was so scared that Ebony will also head down this track.

    xox

    • Annieb25 says:

      It is so scary out there for teenagers. Drugs are so easy to obtain. I was absolutely staggered. Gosh it must be hard for your mum and dad to be raising a teenager. From my experience 14 was the worst age. I hope they have an easy time with Ebony. Thank you for the lovely comment Lorraine. xx

  16. Cate Pearce says:

    Yet again you have me speechless Annie. You’ve touched on some of this with me before and I applaud you yet again that you have all come out the other side intact. Not unscathed obviously, but intact. And ready to grow.
    Tell your son I kept thinking of the “keep off the grass” signs you see sometimes, and they now have two meanings for me. (and that I love his dance moves ;))

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thanks Cate. Your comment made me smile as I thought back to his “dance video”. That’s the boy he is now. Full of life and fun. I’m so glad he got off the grass and I’m going to get him one of those signs for his bedroom wall. xx

  17. Tracy says:

    Oh, honey…

    Stopping to blow my nose and pull myself together. There’s so much I want to say, but I’ll keep it brief…this time.

    In this, we’re not twins. My boy is ten years behind yours, and I read this post with the terrible awareness that this could represent part of my future, as well as the incredible sense of grace that comes from having an awareness gifted from another’s hard-won experience.

    I come from a family that does the addictive behaviour thing too well, especially the men. And I married one. I’m hoping, wishing, praying, that all the insight and experience and pattern-recognition that I’ve gained over the years will help me put my boy on a path to the kind of emotional intelligence that can recognise the pull, and discard the pattern.

    You’re a remarkable woman. The kind of courage it takes to sit and be with and love your boy through those difficult years… Love, yes, but the courage and faith of a lioness, too. xx

    Hmmm…not brief. 😉

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thanks Tracy. He is very emotionally intelligent, in fact as he was growing up he had problems because he was so far ahead mentally & physically. I am hoping this intelligence helps him navigate his way through life without forming too many addictions. I can’t always be there to protect him, but for now, while he’s still my baby boy, I will protect all I can. Grrrr. (That’s the lioness in me if you were wondering LOL)

  18. Tracy says:

    PS. Back, ‘cos I forgot to say, to your boy, how awed and thoroughly impressed with him I am. You have demonstrated courage and maturity and insight that I have watched and waited and failed to see in men two or three times your age. You rock x

  19. Kate Carroll says:

    What a touching post Annie. You’re boy sounds lovely.

  20. Rachael says:

    That made me cry. I’m so glad you both could turn this situation around. I spent a few years of my life smoking pot. I was a bit older and managed to stick with my uni course and did get through it, but I see how much it harder it would have been had I been even a couple of years younger. I always think the danger with kids smoking pot before they are adults is that they don’t get to experience the natural highs that come with just living life. Blessings to you both xx

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thanks Rachael. I also smoked pot in my misguided youth, but I was also older and I didn’t smoke it until my normal life had no meaning. I still worry about the damage it has done to his brain already and am just eternally grateful he didn’t experience any of the dreadful psychotic episodes that can come from excessive use of pot. Scary. xx

  21. Annie, what a beautiful and brave post. Addiction is such a terribly difficult challenge. I’m impressed that your son was mature and strong enough to face it as well as he did and that you had the love and courage to walk with him. I wish him all the success in the world.

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thank you Kristin. I also know how very brave you are. xxx The fact he is very self aware and emotionally intelligent has helped him to get to this point. I just hope this experience gives him strength to deal with other addictions he may face in his life. xx

  22. Seraphimsp says:

    I did watch the Ben Cousins doco last night and over and above what struck me was his parents abiding love and support for him. Annie your post shows the exact same unfailing love despite the heartbreak you also endured. I am so proud to call you a friend and so proud of your son for making some incredibly tough decisions xxx

    • Annieb25 says:

      It’s that all encompassing love we have for our offspring. I never understood it before I had kids. Now it is all I know. Thank you Sarah you are a beautiful friend. xx

  23. Moi says:

    Annie, I am in awe of you and your boy. What a wonderful outcome for your story. Your son has an amazing head on his shoulders. Such a turnaround can only come from being parented with love and respect. I hope that i will handle any challenges my boys experience in the future with the same love, compassion and honesty with which you have given yours.
    Much love to you xx

    • Annieb25 says:

      I’m in awe of him too. There were times I didn’t think he’d come out the other end and there were times when I absolutely knew he would. The biggest gift we can give to our kids is love and support. I’m absolutely sure you will handle challenges from your boys with all of those things. You are a beautiful person. Thank you. xx

  24. tessatalks says:

    Great post, Annie. Such a testament to both you and your son. Goes to show what a great mother you are to raise a child that can be brave enough to admit to and overcome the pressures of being a teenager and to be honest enough to share his thoughts and ask for guidance from you, his mother. I don’t have any children (yet!) and my wish is to have the most amazing and open relationship with my own one day. Thank you for sharing.

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thank you! You sound like a very loving & compassionate person from what I’ve read on your blog. You are already on the right track to being a loving mum. Thank you for coming over to my blog. xx

  25. Meegan says:

    Thankyou so much for sharing your story. Someone very close to me is also addicted to ‘pot’. When ever the topic is brought up, his response is “it’s just pot”. Well to me it’s not ‘just pot’ it is 1.Memory Loss 2.Mood Swings 3.Paranoia 4.Lies 5. Inability to communicate properly 6. Loss of good judgement – and all these symptoms snow ball into bigger problems.
    I am sorry Annie that you had to go through what you have, but hopefully it looks like your son has seen the light, you are fortunate he was able to do this while he is still young and has a great future ahead of him.
    It is almost impossible to say how the loved ones of someone who is an addict should tackle the situation. Everyone is different and whilst some addicts respond well when confronted, while others it can just escalate the problem.
    I wish your son every success in life…..he’s had an excellent start with a wonderful loving Mum.

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thanks Meegan. That seems to be a standard response. My boy used to offer that one up all the time. It is really hard to deal with. I don’t know that I did it all the right way – certainly telling him I wanted to die might not have been my most glorious moment – but this parenting gig is a live and learn thing. xx

  26. Shelley says:

    Thank you so much for posting this blog. I did watch the Ben Cousins story, and with a little girl under 12 months, I often worry about what she will be doing when she’s a teenager, based partly on what I was doing myself back then, and well into my 20’s. I too told my Mum I had an addictive personality and needed to find positive ways to deal with that side of myself. It scares me to think that at the end of the day it all comes down to the individual – as parents we can only love, guide and support so far, and the rest they do alone. Your son shows amazing strength to be able to see so early on where he has issues to overcome. I’m sure it helps having such an amazing Mum. xx

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thank you Shelley. I have the same personality so perhaps that’s why I can empathise with him and help. If I didn’t, perhaps I would have been different in how I dealt with it and perhaps I may have alienated him. All I can do is love and support him and let him know I’m there if he needs me. He is going to have to learn to deal with his addictive nature, and I’m sure with more maturity he will. Hopefully his only addiction from here on in will be chocolate … just like his mummy. xx

  27. Naomi says:

    Annie, you son showed great strength and I am certain he got this form you. Any words I write here would echo those above so I’ll just say this – what an amazing Mum you have been, how honest and brave you were to share this.
    To you and your boy, I am glad you found your way back to each other.
    x

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thanks Naomi. I thought it was an important thing to share. If I can help someone else deal with it or at least give someone some hope then I will be really happy. My boy is away in Perth at the moment, back tomorrow, so hopefully when he reads this and all the comments he will feel the same way. I think he will. xx

  28. Melissa says:

    I hope he reads this, your love for him shines through. My brother was also as good as lost to us following that same path.

    It has taken 13 years to get him to take it seriously enough to quit and try to get his life back. He has (just a week ago) lost his wife and 5 children, despite finally giving up 3 months ago. A case of too little too late.

    So it is so heartwarming when I read of your GOOD news story – about the wisdom of you and your son, and the fact that he still has his life ahead of him – so much potential that wont’ go to waste.

    If he reads this – Good job! It is not easy, making the right choices day after day. But read how proud your mother is, how much respect she has for you, how much hope she has for you. It sounds like you’re making something of yourself – that is something to be so proud of.

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thanks Melissa. He is coming home from Perth tomorrow and I have told him about this post. He will definitely read it. I am so sad to read about your brother too. Pot addiction truly destroys families. It is insidious and people wrongly think it is a “soft” drug. It might not have the same hideous side effects of something like ICE but the personality change and ability to have normal relationships can be just as destructive. I hope that your brother is able to get his life back. He won’t regret it. Get him to read this. xx

  29. Christie says:

    It is terrifying and heartbreaking for a mother to have to go through this. You’ve built such solid foundations with your boys and I’m so glad you are on the other side of this now.

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thanks Christie. I’m sure there is a way to go, but the fact that he has come back is the best starting point. He’s just got to work really hard to stay there. xx

  30. MultipleMum says:

    That is an incredible post Annie. Your little fella has been on quite a ride for such a young soul. I feel for you in this situation because it really is every Mum’s nightmare. The good thing is we have a happy ending here and a Mum and her son have refound their connection. Love helps an awful lot Annie and all the troubled nights you have had have somehow helped him find his way. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing story with us x

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thank you for reading. I felt it was an important story to share. Oh he’s been on quite the ride – he is definitely a “living on the edge” kind of guy. I don’t doubt his “adventures” in life are done, but I hope he stays away from things that alter his wonderful mind. And you are right – love helps so much. Without love everything is 100 times harder. xx

  31. Denyse says:

    Dearest Annie,
    I told you I’d come & read your blog and now I have an explanation for how we’ve clicked despite only knowing each other on line…Sons:
    (mine is much older than yours), combined with Addictive Behaviours & Taking Risks (drugs, gambling,)
    What I know is what you wrote, we “think” we’ve done the right things in raising them, we “notice” the taking off after dinner behaviours & put it down to teenage things,
    we “discover” drug paraphernalia & hope by discarding it, the problem goes..
    I won’t write more, because the experiences are so very very similar I wanted to let you know you are NOT alone.
    My update re this is that many of his behaviours continued in various forms even up to 24. (we had a hellish 8 years & he lived at home) BUT despite Counselling, treatments, distractions, work, NOTHING completely erased his issues until MEETING “the one” for his life’s journey, who helped him see his ” mess” & stuck by him…it’s a nice ending too as he’d left school in yr 11 & had no HSC he decided to put his brain (the one he’d buggered up from dope all those years) to good use & fast forward to now, at 31 he’s engaged, paying off a home, father to two kids, marriage date later this year, degree & Grad Dip, worked full time thru Uni & now working full time as a Provisionally Registered Psychologist.
    Annie, there were many days & nights I had wished he’d never been born because of the pain, concern, worry and fear we felt. Sometimes I felt unsafe when his mood deteriorated due to the dope. Yet, we did all we could to help him – parental love!
    I know your son has such a lovely mum & I know what he got her for her birthday!
    Love, D xx

    • Annieb25 says:

      Oh Denyse it sounds like you have definitely been to hell and back. These sons of ours are definitely a worry. I hope and pray that this experience is going to remind my boy of a place he doesn’t want to go back to. I still worry that this isn’t the end, but more than that, I hope it is. I will make sure my boy reads your comments – it will be so important for him to read how your boy has turned his life around. You must be so proud. As a mum all we can do is love these boys and help them find their way. Thank you for sharing that with me here on my blog. You are so very lovely. xx

  32. Oh wow Annie. This post has given me goosebumps. As someone who traveled this road as a teenager myself and knows exactly how hard it is, I am so proud of your son. What an amazing man.

    And you. What an incredible mother you are. it takes someone strong to stand up, acknowledge their child’s problems and work through them with love. You gave your son a chance to do this, a turning point, and you should be very proud of yourself too.

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thank you sweet Lori. I’m glad you are no longer on this road too! Unfortunately many teenagers do journey along it. I am proud of him and proud of myself. Proud that I didn’t totally fall apart and proud that I was able to help him. He really did most of it himself, I know the first few weeks were really tough – not smoking pot (after a 30 cone a day habit – so I am told) and exercising to the point of vomiting. But I think the hard part is done. Now he just has to stay strong. xx

  33. Oh Annie, you made me cry. Because you write so eloquently and yet so lovingly about your son’s struggle. I know every day will have it’s ups and downs, but how awesome that you brought him up to have the confidence to get help and to confide in you. There is so much pressure on kids these days, and way too early … your son stumbled on his journey through life and you have picked him up and helped him back on the right path. You inspire me. Good luck to you and your family xo

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thank you xx My boys have always been able to talk to me without harsh judgement. Sometimes I am defined as “soft” because I don’t go postal with some of the things they tell me, but … I believe if I give them a safe place to come and talk about issues, then we will be able to work them out together. So far we have.

  34. Becky says:

    Amazing post, you brought me to tears. Thank you for sharing, you have been so brave, as has your son. I so admire your strength to put this out in the bloggy world, something so raw and personal and painful.

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thanks Becky. I felt is was something I wanted to put on my blog. If it can help someone else then it was worth it. Sharing our struggles with each other helps us all I believe. Thank you for coming over and reading/commenting on my blog. xx

  35. Fiona says:

    Thank you so much…you already know how i felt reading your story *sob sob*. I cant wait for your son to read the comments, and see the support he has for being so strong….and the support you have for being such a great mother. The tough times don’t last forever, but they do make the good times, oh so very much sweeter….xxx

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thanks lovely. I can’t wait for my boy to read this and all the comments too. I hope he feels as proud of himself as I do. And you are so right – the tough times to make the good times so much sweeter. xx

  36. Thea says:

    Annie, this is so incredibly powerful. Of course I have tears, how could anyone read this and not have tears? With two very small children, this is my worst nightmare. But you’ve given me hope and inspiration that even if they do ‘go off the rails’ (and there is nothing I can do to stop that) it’s how you deal with it that matters. What a wonderful mother you are, and what a special boy you have raised. I’m sure when he read this post his heart swelled. xxx

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thank you beautiful. It was my worse nightmare too. Unfortunately some kids do “go off the rails” and you really can’t stop it. You can just be there to catch them and stand them back up again. He is a special boy alright. xx

  37. Kylie L says:

    Aamazing blog- so scary but so hopeful. Good for you for being there for him throughout it all, and for helping him figure out a way to get “off the grass”. We have friends staying with us from Melb at present and she told me she couldn’t watch that shwo either for the same reason as you… that her son had been a junkie for years, is recovered now, but it is still all too painful, all too real. My heart goes out to both of you and your families… with continued hope for a full recovery. xxxx

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thank you lovely. I couldn’t not be there to help him “get off the grass”. It is such a difficult thing to deal with. While they are in the midst of it there is not much you can do – they are unreasonable and extremely difficult. I believe I have been incredibly lucky that he made the choice to stop. I don’t believe they can stop if they don’t really “want” to. You can go through the machinations of giving up or trying to give up, but if their mindset isn’t there – it doesn’t seem to work out. I am so glad your friend’s son has recovered now – it is so heart wrenching to watch your child fade away right before your eyes. We aren’t out of the woods yet – but it’s a great start. xx

  38. Beeah says:

    This post made me cry. Both my brother and sister are in this position, and one has just become a single parent. My heart breaks everyday for them and the baby. Nothing we say seems to make a difference. It’s terrible. But your post has given me hope that maybe they can turn it around when they’re ready. Thank you.

    • Annieb25 says:

      My heart goes out to your brother and sister (and all of your family). This stuff really does tear families apart. I really didn’t understand this until now. For over a year I tried to get him to stop and I used to print out fact sheets about what pot did to your brain and leave them in his bedroom. I constantly talked about schizophrenia and how it could happen to him. I never used to think it got through. Apparently it did. He said whilst he didn’t want to listen, all the stuff I used to tell him played on his mind a lot. Keep trying and let them know you are there for them. It is so hard on everyone. Thank you for coming over to my blog and commenting. xx

  39. lisa Heidke says:

    Wow, Annie! An incredible incredible story. Clearly, you are an amazing, loving and beautiful mum and your son, even though he was tackling his own demons, recognised this and fought his way back to you. Good on your son for recognising he needed your help. It’s clear that you have always had a great love and respect between you. I admire you for sharing your story and wish you and your family all good things. You are truly deserving.
    Lisa xx

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thank you Lisa. We have always had a close bond (in fact I have a really loving bond with both my boys) and I believe that has been fundamental in getting us through this so far. I wanted to share this story in case it could help someone else. The key is Love. It really is. xx

  40. Carol says:

    Oh Annie,

    As you know, my boys are still little.

    Sometimes the thought of what may be coming our way absolutely terrifies me.

    xxx

    • Annie says:

      It terrified me too. But what I’ve learned is if there is love, real honest love, you can get through the worst of things. I am constantly filled with love for my boys. xx

  41. Bern says:

    Oh how this scares me and gives me hope all at once. I reckon it’s a testatment to you though Annie and your beauty.

    Our mum set limits and was very strict. The thing is, you always want the most that which you are denied. And you will find a way to get it regardless. But at the end of the day, regardless of what I put my Mum through, also some very bad stuff in year 10, I always knew she was more scared for me than angry and that she loved me more than she disliked me. And at the end, when I grew and had children of my own and realised what a right little bitch I’d been, I could see we worked it out because I wanted her to be proud and I didn’t want her, after all she’s been through with my father, to think none of it was worthwhile.

    So long way round, I’m trying to say, your beautiful boy/s are the way they are and will becone men they will because of you. And your beautiful soul. x

    • Annieb25 says:

      Bern thank you so much for your beautiful words. Parenting teenagers is the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do. I’m not sure I’m that good at it because I know I’m not strict enough, but I do know how to love my boys and maybe at the end of the day that’s what counts. Who knows? xx

  42. Fantastic post, Annie, but more than that, fantastic outcome. Weed is a huge threat to our young men because it saps motivation. It literally strands them on the grass, just as your son said. Thanks for sharing this important story.

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thanks Al. It certainly does strand them. Totally saps their motivation to be or do anything. It is insidious and creeps up slowly. The problem is whilst they are in the midst of it they will deny vehemently that it is because of the weed, now that he’s out of it, he totally knows it was the weed. It is so not a “harmless” drug. Not.one.bit. xx

  43. Kellie says:

    Oh Annie… wow what a wonderful mum and woman you are! I have problems with my 15 yr old but nothing compared to that…. although, it does scare the hell out of my because I think, considering he has ADHD, it would be easy for him to have an addictive personality.
    Well done to you and your son for coming out the other side closer and happier than before x

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thank you Kellie. Teenagers are so difficult. It’s the hardest job ever! I believe some kids will always live on the edge and cause us grief, but as long as they have a good foundation they will come back to what they know. They just need a bucketload of love and we need a bucketload of patience. xx

  44. Rosie Corney says:

    Thank you for sharing such a personal story. It was so so lovely to hear that your love for each other was so strong that your story had a happy ending, and continues to do so, when it could have gone so many different ways. You’re a brave, amazing and wonderful mother.

    • Annieb25 says:

      Thank you Rosie. So often things don’t work out and families are torn apart. I’m sure there is still some way to go but there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel. xx

  45. Lindat44 says:

    This post made me cry, my heart remembers the aching….

    I too had a wayward son, I understand your guilt, questioning where we went wrong.

    3 years on my son is a different person, he’s bought himself a flat, he works hard, he has a lovely girlfriend and great friends and is a caring and loving young man. I sometimes have to pinch myself that this is him.

    “We fought. We cried. We talked. We loved. Through it all we always loved. I was always there for him. That’s what a mother does. That’s what a mother has to do.”
    I think this is the core of the post, as with your son, our love never faltered, I just kept hanging on, even though I was being pushed away and verbally abused. Now my son looks at me in admiration, he can’t believe that I still loved him after all the pain he caused.

    I wish you and your son well Anne, just keep loving and holding on and it will all come right in the end.

    Oh and he’s just accepted an apprenticeship for next year with his work as he’s decided “I really need to have something behind me, to set myself up for the future”.

    • Annieb25 says:

      Oh wow Linda your comment just made me cry. I’m so glad that your son is through it and making a good life for himself. You must be so proud of him and it sounds like he is so proud of you. Loving our boys is the best thing we can do for them. Thank you so much for sharing that. xxx

  46. Annie – what a moving post. I’m with Bern – it both scares me and gives me hope for the future.

    I’m so glad your son got through this – what a great support you were/are.

    He should be proud of himself, as should you.

    xxx

  47. Emlykd says:

    *I* want ur son to know how proud of him I am. Doing what he has done shows great strength and great character. I’m so proud of him annie

  48. MisssyM says:

    What an amazingly brave post. I’ve only just discovered your blog. I’m mum to a 12 year old who’s becoming more teenage by the second. I’m going to subscribe to your blog for sure.

  49. Richard.E. says:

    A lovely story of honest communication, mother-son affability, and the resolution of a problem that has been threatening many families for recent decades as to which the
    outcomes vary from situation to situation.

    The honest communication, butal at first, but being graced by time and the understanding shown by you and your son; is imperative in a family
    crisis that perhaps shows how “…blood is thicker than water?” – as many
    do realise. Yet in other merits of degree one may postulate there need be
    handling with cotton gloves for the water sense, (adoptees, defactos, education,
    services, businesses, ….), but this can be seen from many aspects of the current family “model” and population push and squeeze.

    Congratulations on the return of your child to you arms, whilst he still be
    child…. soon to be a challenge to any Bo-Thai wearer! 🙂

    Nice work, I am sorry as to the extremes of behaviour and stress you went through
    in reaching resolution, but somehow, this doesn’t surprise me you made it. 🙂

    Richardy.

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